July 5, 1997
"Carl Sagan was a very unique individual who helped young and old alike to dream about the future and the possiblities it may hold," Goldin said. "Carl always liked to push the boundaries too, and the Mars Pathfinder mission, with its rover named Sojourner, clearly has done that. Even its very first images contain an array of fascinating scientific questions that he would have loved to debate. We will explore the area with his memory in mind."
Goldin made the announcement at Planetfest '97 in Pasadena, CA, an event organized by the Planetary Society, the public space interest group that Sagan founded with Bruce Murrary and Lou Friedman in 1980.
Sagan played a leading role in NASA's Mariner, Viking, Voyager and Galileo expeditions to other planets. He has received NASA Medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and twice for Distinguished Public Service, and the NASA Apollo Achievement Award. Sagan died on December 20, 1996, at age 62.
The naming is reminiscent of the memorial dedication of the Mars Viking Lander 1 in January 1981 to Dr. Thomas Mutch, a NASA associate administrator for space science and former leader of the Viking Lander Imaging Science Team, who died on October 7, 1980, while climbing in the Himalayas.
December 20, 1996
De bekende Amerikaanse sterrenkundige Carl Sagan stierf vandaag na een langdurige ziekte. Sagan, die grote bekendheid verwierf door onder andere zijn populaire televisieserie Cosmos, is 62 jaar geworden.
Astronomer Carl Sagan died today after a two-year battle with bone-marrow disease. Sagan was a noted astronomer and gained great fame among the general public hosting his television series Cosmos. Sagan was only 62.
CNN: Carl Sagan dies at 62
Carl Sagan homepage
December 23, 1996
In honor of Carl Sagan's death, the Flag of Earth at the Ohio State University Radio Observatory has been lowered to half staff.
The Flag of Earth is flown at all observatories around the world engaged in the search for life outside the Earth. This flag is used worldwide for all activities done on behalf of humankind as a whole, not related to any specific individual, organization or country.
The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence is one such activity, and the OSU Radio Observatory is the location of the longest-running search on Earth. The Flag of Earth has flown there for many years.
Carl was keenly interested in this topic, and the Planetary Society, which he founded, has given research grants to the OSU Radio Observatory.
Dr. Robert Dixon
Director, OSU SETI Program
SKY & TELESCOPE NEWS BULLETIN
DECEMBER 20, 1996
NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
December 20, 1996
As much as any scientific figure of our time, Carl described for an entire generation -- the generation of the Space Age -- the true wonders of the Universe around us. His unbelievable ability to explain the complexities of space and space exploration inspired people to look up into the night sky in wonder. Through such efforts as the television series 'Cosmos' and his recent book, 'Pale Blue Dot,' Carl reached -- and touched --millions around the world.
He was a pioneer of the idea that life could exist on Mars, years before NASA was able to uncover evidence of potential early life on the Red Planet, and he was an important voice in our Mars science programs for many years. He was an early champion of the idea that the two leading spacefaring powers, America and Russia, should work together in the exploration of space.
He also was at the forefront of constructing humanity's first messages to the stars, which even now are hurtling out of our Solar System aboard the Pioneer and Voyager spacecraft. Carl himself likened the effort to the launching of a message in a bottle on the interstellar ocean. We will remember his vision, his eloquence, and his intellect, and we will miss him."